Are you looking to buy a new home? Chances are you are aware of the obvious steps, starting with finding the right real estate agent. But are you aware of the unwritten rules of homebuyer etiquette? They do exist and following these rules will not only help the whole process go smoothly, but will also help keep all parties on the same page. Respect for sellers, real estate agents and even your competition is critical. Here are some rules of etiquette that you should follow as a homebuyer.
1. Know the difference between a window shopper and a house hunter. Which one are you?
Where exactly are you in the home buying process? This is important to know when making the decision to hire a real estate agent.
- If you are just interested in touring beautiful homes while daydreaming about the possibility of buying a new home, chances are you are a window shopper and may not be ready to enlist in the help of a real estate agent.
- If you have your loan approval in hand and are ready to find your perfect home and make that commitment, you are a house hunter that is in need of the right real estate agent to guide you through the process.
- A real estate agent’s time is very valuable. The last thing that you want to do is waste an agent’s time or tie them up when they could be helping someone else who is truly ready to find and buy a new home.
2. Know your budget and be honest and upfront about it
Dig into your financial situation and be realistic about your home buying budget. This is pertinent information for your real estate agent to be able to map out your tour of homes in helping you to find the perfect fit for your family. It is also important to know the ins and outs of your financial situation, so that surprises don’t come up during closing that can make the real estate transaction turn sour.
3. Be polite on home tours
Remember that you’re walking through someone’s private space. There’s a fine line between thoroughly checking out a property and rifling through personal belongings. Be respectful of another person’s home.
- Keep the crowd to a minimum. There is no need to bring along a whole tribe of family and friends on your first visit to a home with your realtor. Absolutely bring family and friends by for a second opinion when you’re close to making an offer.
- If sellers are onsite for your tour, refrain from sharing positive or negative feedback about the property until you’re back in the car with your agent. The last thing you want to do is undermine your bargaining position or leave a sour taste in a seller’s mouth.
4. Be punctual
Preparing to show a home requires a good deal of coordination between the seller and the agent. Don’t expect everyone else’s time to be set by your watch. If you are going to be late or need to reschedule, let your real estate agent know as soon as possible. Your agent will appreciate you being respectful of their time, which will help to form a mutually respectable agent/buyer relationship.
5. Follow the proper order of things
All communication about a property should be funneled through your agent – questions about the property, scheduling follow up tours, etc. Leave it to your real estate agent to contact the listing agent or seller directly. Even if you are under contract, don’t just show up at the property unannounced or lurk around the yard. The place isn’t yours until you’ve closed and you have your new set of keys in hand.
Are you looking to buy a new home in the Destin or South Walton area? As one of the most experienced real estate agents in this area, Melissa Clements can help you find the perfect home for both you and your family. Contact her today!